On Friday, Bruins captain Zdeno Chara
donned a 6’ 9” pair of footy, hoodie PJ's while he visited the BJ’s Wholesale Club in Waltham, Mass. to collect pajamas as part of the Boston Bruins annual PJ Drive.
|Chara in Waltham (photo: Sheryl Lanzel). |
Click the pic for the full gallery.
Throughout the month of February, Bruins fans, families, schools and corporations are encouraged to donate new, unused pajamas for underprivileged children statewide. The Bruins work in conjunction with Cradles to Crayons on the annual collection, which was started by former Bruin PJ Axelsson, continued by Dennis Wideman and taken over by Chara for the 2010-11 season.
“This is my first appearance and it’s been really great meeting all these parents and kids who donated PJs to families that can’t afford it," said Chara. "It’s a really nice thing to be involved with."
The Cradles to Crayons mission is to provide under-privileged children with the essential items they need to “feel safe, ready to learn and be valued.”
The organization’s partnership with the B's began four years ago and has blossomed ever since.
“What’s been amazing over the past four years is that we’ve continued the partnership with the PJ drive and each year a Bruins player has stepped up and been the spokesperson for the program,” said Jen White, Cradles to Crayons’ director of development and strategic partnerships.
Lisa Wise and her son Dylan stopped by the drive to donate 40 pairs of pajamas they had been collecting in anticipation of the drive.
“It’s about showing the younger kids to pay it forward when you can,” Wise said.
Chara was pleased with the crowd he was able to draw to the event.
“I don’t know exactly how many people we had, or how many families with children came. It’s been nice, really overwhelmed,” he said.
“The schedule we have, practices, traveling, games, we don’t have many chances to be connected with fans and children.
“This is one of the opportunities we have, when we do have it, I enjoy it.”
Waltham's BJ's collected 534 pairs of pajamas, but the collection continues. You can learn more here